Tuesday 13 February 2018

The Circle of Life

Seen from the peak of Tow Law this coming July, and with the unmistakable voice of Sir Elton John in the background, the shaman Ben Sellers, watched by the proud parents, presents to the Pride Lands of North West Durham the newborn heir of Laura Pidcock and Daniel Kebede. Hakuna matata.

In all seriousness, I am one of very few people in this constituency to have known Laura and Daniel since before Laura became the Labour candidate here. I wish both of them and their unborn child all the happiness in the world. My differences with Laura are political.

And here's another one. In point of fact, however pro-EU the Labour Party membership may be, it is above all pro-Corbyn. Were a ballot of the kind suggested here to be held, then the members would give the Leader whatever he had said that he needed, and that certainly would not be opposition to Brexit, or even to withdrawal from the Single Market and the Customs Union.

But Laura says that, despite her own pretty thoroughgoing left-wing Euroscepticism (Daniel, meanwhile, campaigned vigorously for Leave), she would oppose Brexit if the members of the Labour Party voted against it. I would not, and not only because I am not a member of the Labour Party.

I would have been in favour of withdrawal from the EU regardless of the outcome of the referendum, and regardless of whether or not there had ever been one. My reasons for that are the same as the reasons why I am opposed to the Government's legislation on the subject, which constitutes an Executive power grab such as Tony Benn would have fought tooth and nail.

Laura speaks of "the sovereignty of the membership". But, while extraparliamentary action is essential in bringing issues to Parliament's attention and then in keeping them there, and while MPs who failed to address those needs must be removed either by their wider electorates or by their local parties, that is precisely because the only ultimate means to the economic and political ends that Laura and I share is the sovereignty of Parliament.

You know what you have to do, brothers and sisters. You know what you have to do.

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